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20121222
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? >> the president really scaled back his ambitions for the immediate time. he said, look, guys, nancy pelosi, come back, try to do the minimum, try to do the least amount of harm. and then come up with some way to say that we'll address bigger issues in the new year. >> he proposed tonight a smaller package, a smaller deal. what will this mean for the economy? what will it mean for the deficit if this small deal, mini deal is passed? >> well, that could be a big problem because basically he's left out a lot of critical issues. the sequester. we didn't hear him talk about that so we don't know how they'll deal with the automatic spending cuts and defense. and he didn't talk about the physician payment issue. physician under medicare are expected to get a 30% cut at the beginning of year. we don't know how that will work out. >> and he didn't say anything about the debt limit and this is one of the things he wanted in this fiscal cliff deal. by leaving that out, are we in for another big fight next year? >> it certainly looks like it. it seems to be-- and i've heard this from many people-- that repu
said he made phone calls last night to speaker boehner and house minority leader nancy pelosi, as well as senator reid and his opposite number, minority leader mitch mcconnell. but today, mcconnell gave no indication of movement. >> last night i told the president we'd be happy to look at whatever he proposes, but the truth is we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said this is a conversation we should have had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> reporter: adding to the urgency, treasury secretary timothy geithner warned he'll have to begin taking "extraordinary measures" to postpone a government default. the government is on track to hit its borrowing limit on monday, he said with no prospect of congressional action to raise the limit. here now to help us unravel what's going on is todd zwillich. he's washington correspondent for "the takeaway" on public radio international. todd, welcome back. decode this for us. are the players privately a
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